Staines International Award cemony in USA. PCP Report.
25 Jul 2003
USA. August 17. Dr. Diana Barnes , South Asia Desk Officer at the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor and the Office of International Religious Freedom presents the "Staines International Award For Religious Harmony" instituted by The International Council of Evangelical Churches ( ICEC) to Admiral L. Ramdas former Chief of The Naval Staff India. And the Mayor of Wilmington issues a special proclamation
In a very well attended international ceremony with representatives from various nations in Wilmington, the corporate capitol of the United States, Dr. Barnes applauded India for her centuries old tradition of communal harmony and urged the nation to live by it at the present time. She hoped that the incidents like Rev. Staines family murder that blot the ethos and the image of India of Sri Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi is the thing of past. In his acceptance speech the Admiral shared his pain and anguish that he suffered at the time of Gujarat genocide and how it reminded him of 1947 riots at the time of partition. Teesta Setalvad who was joint recipient of the award in her acceptance speech urged the NRI community to take more active role in ensuring communal harmony in India
Among others the speech by Mrs. Nisrin Hussein , the daughter of Mr. Hassan Jeffrey , former Member of Parliament who was burnt to death in Gujarat asked the international community to be more vigilant against reoccurrences of such tragedies in the civil society. Dr. Sajan. K. George, the National Convenor of Global Council of Indian Christians(GCIC) exhorted the collective conscience of the world to promote goodwill and harmony among different faiths. Rev. Bernard Malik, the President of ICEC thanked the participants and congratulated the winners of the award on behalf of the selection committee
The Award is instituted in the memory of Australian missionary Dr. Graham Staines and his two little sons who were burnt alive on 23rd of January 1999 and also celebrates the forgiving spirit of Mrs. Gladys Staines. The Mayor James Baker of Wilmington issued a special proclamation in honor of the recipients of the Award welcoming them to the city